As one of the most pumped-up bodybuilders on the fitness internet, Simeon Panda doesn’t always show off moves in the gym that resonate with the common man. The buff fitness pro is just as likely to share aspirational content than relatable clips on his platforms, like pressing 150-pound dumbbells. But one of Panda’s recent posts showed off an exercise that just about anyone can take on to build a bigger chest and help to improve their bench numbers: the floor press.
The clip shows Panda in a supine position in front of a weight rack, pushing through reps of the floor press using a barbell. The bodybuilder shared some info about the lift in the post’s caption, too: “No bouncing off your chest, no spring action to take advantage of, just strength,” he wrote. “Floor pressing is an explosive exercise, there is no any elastic energy to rely on, you start from scratch with each rep.”
This is a fairly good rundown of the exercise. Panda hits the right cues for the movement—which you should pay attention to as well if you plan to implement the floor press into your own chest day routine. It’s a great movement to build chest strength and take it easier on your shoulders than the standard bench press.
He’s lying with his back flat on the ground, with no arch like you see from some supine pressers. Since this is a move meant to engage your chest and hone your strength, you don’t want to cheat just to move more weight. He also has his elbows at a 45-degree angle from his torso, which can help to keep your shoulders in a healthy position. Importantly, the way Panda proceeds helps him to make the most of the move. Instead of creating energy to assist his lift by bouncing the backs of his arms off the ground, he comes to a total stop on the floor at the end of the eccentric portion of the exercise.
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That pause makes the next part of the lift all the more effective. Panda uses his chest to press explosively, driving the weight up. This emphasis will help to translate to the lock-out portion of the traditional barbell bench press, in which you operate within a larger range of motion. By cutting out the bottom part of the more standard lift, you’re able to work with heavier weights and focus on that drive with the floor-bound variation.
Want to bring the floor press to your workout? You can also use dumbbells, especially if your don’t have a rack to load a bar like Panda. Try starting with 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps in place of the standard bench press.
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